>> gierchg everyone. good evening everyone i'm jonathan betz and this is al jazeera america.lives lost and evacuations ordered. missouri facing heavy rains and a rising mississippi river. plus. no laughing matter, an icon of american comedy out on bail after being hit with sexual assault charges. and trouble in paradise. puerto rico ahead of schedule is
announcing it will default on part of its nearly $1 billion in debt. and we begin tonight in missouri, the mississippi river is reaching heights never measured before. rising water is breaching levees protecting farms and homes and people are now scrambling to get to higher ground. al jazeera's andy rosegen is out there in the middle of it all. andy what are you seeing night? >> jonathan, take a look, the merrimac river is covering the intersection for days. 46 feet, 20 feet above flood stage. the mississippi river as you mentioned which the merrimac
needs 52, is about 20 feet above flood stage. trouble brewing interstate 55, out of st. louis, they are putting sand bags there, water is starting to get close there. the head of i dot, missouri department of transportation, are keeping their fingers crossed. adding to the thousands of people that have already been chased from their homes by the floodwaters. missouri's governor calls it the worst. >> water levels are predicted to exceed, the historic crest of the flood of 1993, which caused significant and widespread devastation. >> always missed flooding in the past realized their luck had run out and for others the race to recover what they can is still on. >> sounds brutal. we just been working to get everything out and didn't get it all but we got what we could.
>> the merrimac river has never been this high before. and it just keeps creeping up on this convenience store in fenton, missouri. >> this is insane. i've never seen it this bad before. >> neither has the state's department of transportation. authorities have closed a 24 mile stretch of interstate 44 just outside of st. louis. mother nature has closed highway 141. >> this is a very important highway to the region, it has 150,000 vehicles that trafer on it now it has water on it. >> it is worrisome. in this neighborhood of about 100 homes no one can get in or out by car, including loorissa's parents. >> that car is stuck and my car is pretty low to the ground so i walk. >> the rising water means many people are using whatever they have to get around. these guys were relying on an inflatable raft.
>> we feel bad for all the people who have lost houses and homes. my uncle hasn't done very well. >> an emt reminded them that the water even overwhelmed a sewage treatment treatment plant. andy rosegen, al jazeera. expected to crest sometimes in the next few hours jonathan but the tough news jonathan once they do crest it will take about 24 hours for them to start receding. >> the damage is far from over. you mentioned the sandbagging and other things done to try to stop this but what has the governor announced to try deal with this flooding? >> well he has brought in the national guard. also he is focusing an st. louis for the national guard because that's where all this water is heading right now, in fact. he has called a state of
emergency in missouri to deal with this and he did talk to president obama today who told him there would be help from the federal government if the governor asks for it. jonathan. >> thank you andy. franklin county initially one of the worst hit counties. what is the sentence of the is e there. >> we are facing a lot of damage, both to our fracture to infrastructure and places of employment. the extent of the damage is not known fully at this point, just because the water has not receded. we are looking forward to the water receding so we can evaluate and continue our next
steps into recovery. >> help us understand how extensive this is. how many homes flooded, how many neighborhoods underwater right now? >> within franklin county we are looking at two municipalities specifically and many unincorporated areas throughout county. this is just one portion of this large event. and look at this from a regional approach, we're going to be looking at as very, very large incident, all the way from the polaski county area which is just west tall way into the boot hills of missouri. >> a large incident with a very, very long recovery. how does that look for you guys right now? >> right now our recovery process is beginning. we are getting our citizens the information they need to take the next steps as far as cleanup and when that's available as well as providing them with information as to how to get back into the residence. how to ensure that thef the pre.
so evacuation came early. it was effective and efficient, i know that it's always hard to leave your home and there are many residents that decided to stay. but there's also great success. and the preparation efforts that were taken throughout the county. >> well, lit bright spot there amid a plot of devastation there. frank cook, emergency management office, thank you very much for your report tonight. >> thank you. >> one of the most famous tv dads has been arrested and charged with assault of a woman. bill cosby has claimed to have consent wall sexual contact with his accuser.
john terret has the story. >> jonathan, good evening. bill cosby appeared to be a broken man. he walked with his lawyers. one of whom said the charges against cosby are unjustified and he will be exonerated. >> cosby, arriving in an office in the philadelphia suburb. first criminal charge, aggravated assault filed in pennsylvania. >> these charges stem from a sexual assault that took place on an evening in early 2004. at mr. cosby's home in cheltenham township. this is a felony of the first degree. >> he's pledged to be tough on sexual predators referring to cosby in particular.
>> charges today are filed as a result of new information that came to light in july of 2015. statute of limitations in this type of case is 12 years. >> that statute runs out this week, as a result of a civil suit in 2005, stemming from an alleged 2004 incident in which andrea constant went to his home in 2004. in a civil suit filed by constant, cosby said they had consent wall sex. wednesday constant's lawyer issued a statement saying: >> gloria allred who represents many of the women who alleged
cosby sexually assaulted them, says in 40 years of practice she's never seen anything like them nor their clients. >> some of them are really concerned that there was never a criminal prosecution and were very concerned there never would be. so we're happy that this is receiving criminal scrutiny. >> he was one of the first black actors to have a leading role in a network drama, i spy. he's one of the giants of television, and became america's favorite tv dad, cliff huxtable. the cosby show played all over the world, cementing his fame. but there have long been rumors about his conduct towards women.
cosby was driven to the police station for fingerprinting and the posting of $1 million bond. he's due in court in about two weeks. >> when cosby came out of court, someone said to him, good luck to you sir, he said thank you. they'll now have to decide who they believe, andrea constant or bill cosby. thank you. john terret, thank you. i previous spoke to a woman who said cobs assaulted her in 1970. asked her what she thought. >> it was so emotional. it's hard to process evening now. >> conflicting why do you say that? >> i think it's probably going to take -- you know, it made me feel i wanted to cry, seeing his
mugshot and at the same time, i was seeing him looking frail, and stumbling and thri thinkingo myself, he's an actor. he's doing this very well. he's a good actor. he fooled all of us. i just want him to be exposed so that no other woman can ever experience what we experienced. >> and as she says she will testify against cosby if asked. chicago police department is overhauling its tactics after several officer involved shootings. tasers, officers will be trained ouse them first before drawing their guns. embattled chicago mayor rahm emanuel cut his vacation to announce this. ash-har quraishi last more. >> just because you train you
can use force doesn't mean you should and helping officers have that distinction and the training that goes with it is essential. >> reporter: he says the changes will focus on deescalation training, to help officers use training before using deadly forced. >> a lot of officers are trained to make sure they get home safely. when you take this all together, what was said the oarl day, the goal is to make sure everyone goes home safely. >> the goal is to double the number of tasers, from 700 to 1400. >> we're looking for best practice, and by no means, was our policy ever shoot first and ask questions later. quite the contrary. >> the changes come after weeks of unrest following release of dash cam video the city withheld
for over a year. that showed the chicago police officer shooting 16 shots, into la quan mcdonald carrying a small knife. shet dead two piem people, quinntonio lagrier and his neighbor, bettie jones. >> on tuesday, a small number of protestors demonstrated outside mayor emanuel's north side home calling for him to step down. >> i don't foresee rahm emanuel standing down or resigning but he understands because he's a politically savvy animal and somebody who knows the lay of the land that he has an awful lot of fence-mending to do and
it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be fast. >> it's unclear whether the mayor's plan will be enough to calm the voice calling for his resignation. but it is not going to be the last. the department of justice is also investigating cpd. ash-har quraishi, al jazeera, chicago. >> also ahead on al jazeera america, close encounter. one of the world's busiest waterways confrontation. plus eavesdropping on israel, reports that america was spying on israeli president benjamin netanyahu.
peoples' story. >> that could decide the election. >> it can be different. >> syrian forces say they are making progress in the southwest part of that country. syria's army says it's regaifned territory stretching from dplasks down to darrah. helped bashar al-assad's government. first offensive in the south since russia entered the war back in september. there are new tensions tonight between united states and iran. the united states is accusing iran of launching a rocket near war ships of united states and
france. >> u.s. carrier harry s. truman is on duty in the strait of hormuz, greeted by what could be seen as a gesture of defiance from some small iranian fast attack boats. according to the u.s. navy, the small boats fired several unguided rockets in close proximity about 1500 yards to the u.s. carrier truman, the u.s. ship buckley and the french carrier province. the u.s. navy's fifth fleet issued a statement calling the action he by the iranian islamic navy highly provocative.
it says, firing weapons so close to passing ships within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law. the u.s. navy has said there have been two similar incidents in the past one more than a year ago, another back in april but in those cases the rockets were fired miles away from the shipping lanes. senate armed services committee chairman senator john mccain was quick to poa tra or the pore incident as an unftc violate of its swrcial commitments for fear iran will walk away from the nuclear deal. iran has often tried to intimidate the united states navy and assert control over the strait of hormuz.
u.s. navy spokesman says the navy is confident in its ability to deefngd its forces if necessary and operate in what it insists on call the aarabian gulf not the persian gulf. jamie mcintire, the pentagon. eastward dropped on israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. the wall street journal first broke this story. unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. al jazeera's rosiland jordan has more from washington. >> the israeli government is suggest that it may file a formal complaint with the obama administration because of allegations published in the wall street journal that the white house has continued to spy on the prime minister, bssments anbenjaminnetanyahu and on othep israeli officials.
continuing to spy ton israeli government because of concerns that israel was going to try find a way to derail the-e glos between the p-5 plus one and iran over that country's nuclear program. even though the white house has not condemned or rejected the story officials unnamed in the wall street journal piece suggested they had to continue to do things like at a this for national security purposes. something that one israeli noicial said, friends don't to do to one another. >> puerto rico will default on its debt, for the second time in two months. the governor said at the time not make a $37 million interest payment. hopes that house speaker paul ryan will push for legislation that will allow the island to
restructure its debt. >> i think he can lead the house to produce a comprehensive bill that will how puerto rico to restructure its debt. we present what they ask, a five year fiscal control plan. so they now have our part. we need theirs. >> and without help governor padilla said the island may not have the money to make future payments. art that delivers a powerful message about climate change. and speaking of completelying ice. freak temperatures that could have santa stuck in the mud on his way back to the north pole. pole.
>> so listening to this. a freak storm at the north pole has pushed temperatures well above freezing. this is the same storm that's caused disastrous flooding in the midwest and the southern parts of the united states. but temperatures in the north pole were 50 degrees higher than average for this time of year. it was so warm that at least for part of the day today, the north pole had the same temperature as chicago and was actually warmer than a lot of other u.s. cities.
let that sink in there. finally tonight, mural artist sean, also known as hola, went to paint oglacier there. as the ice melted so did his images. here is his message in a first person report. >> i created these pieces with my usual techniques of kind of using the environment as my canvas. i used my stand-up surf board to get to the iceberg in the water. it took a couple of days to scout the right one. it had to be right the texture and size. but finally found it and i had about a day to get it done. i decided the main iceberg that i painted in the water was of a girl floating in the water. she had her chin back and as it melted, she had this last
gasping brefts ifnlg. gasping breath as i was painting it. it was a quick are life span than i originally thought. originally i thought it would last a couple of months but after seeing that it was more like ocouple of weeks if that. this project was especially personal for me, i felt like i had to get out. growing up from hawaii, we have a value, we say malama aina, protect the land. i want the art, for people who stumble upon it to see this fing melting into the ocean like a wake up call like a whoa, what's going on? i really like that aspect of it being more a performance piece and showing people that you know, this is a real problem for a lot of people nowadays, and
it's kind of a foreshadow of what's going to be happening everywhere. >> real artist sean uro. i'm jonathan betz, thank you. fully time for more news head to aljazeera.com. "inside story" right now. [ ♪ ] looking at the river of money flowing through not for profit schools, for profit businesses wanted in on the action, and they have gotten huge, offering students flexible degree programs and professional training. thousands of students that take government-backed loans end up heavily in debt with no degree and little to show for the experience. with the recent bankruptcy of one of biggest for-profit corporations, we ask if the schools are a good deal for students.